Shine the Spotlight on Those Who Deserve It

Recently the cast of “Hamilton” paid tribute to the landmark musical “A Chorus Line” on the occasion of its 40th anniversary on Broadway. Part of the tribute included the cast of “Hamilton” performing the signature number from “A Chorus Line”, “What I Did for Love”. As various cast members took their turn at a solo section, I was struck by the fact that none of the principals claimed a solo part, https://youtu.be/h-BB_2L2Dwg. This speaks directly to the spirit of “A Chorus Line” – take the spotlight off the star and shine it upon those who make the show work.

In many ways, your leadership is borrowing this idea from “A Chorus Line”. I think General Colin Powell said it best: “Though important, we will accomplish nothing strictly by organizational chart, strategic plan, or management theory. We will succeed or fail because of the people involved.” So let’s set the future of our Craft by those who make up the Craft, who are our Craft, who are the strength that sustain our Craft, who are our Craft’s future.

At installation, I laid out eight key initiatives: Improve Membership Retention, Increase Use & Awareness of the New Candidate Education Program, Continue to Develop Future Leaders, Leverage Technology to Improve the Quality of the Lodge Experience, “One More”, Reclaim the Narrative, Review the Long Plan, Reshape the Military Recognition Committee. Each of these initiatives is being undertaken by a key committee, and I am proud to report that each of them have developed plans of action – complete with timelines, deliverables, and measurables – to see to the accomplishment of their objectives. In some cases, objectives have already been achieved, and I am looking forward to each committee sharing with you how they are doing.

As I stated in my remarks at installation, any success that is achieved will belong to those who make up these key committees, and they will deserve the accolades and applause. Any shortcoming will be on me for not providing the appropriate guidance, direction, or resources. The Grand Master may be the “star”, but it is the brethren who make it work and who deserve the spotlight.

Featured photo source: YouTube

Oration: The Tragedy of the Character of Hiram Abiff.

MGM – Manlalakbay na Gurong Mason (Traveling Master Mason)

Masonic Family Park

Granite Falls, Wa.

July 2, 2016

Oration:

The Tragedy of the Character of Hiram Abiff.

There is a modicum of uncertainty among less-informed brethren as to whether the tragedy of Hiram Abiff really existed. For every lodge has their own interpretation that calls for some brothers to think that it has become something different from its origin. So animated and so confrontational that it no longer suits the insulated sameness that it is to be… a mock tragedy.

A brother, who showed his shallowness of reason by neglecting the importance of the drama makes him unfit to ever become a member of the craft.

To understand and appreciate the drama to its fullest extent and to absorb the essence of its profound meaning is something that will be with us for quite sometime.

Though it is wrong to consider it as history, the image of the drama always comes across with purity and sacred ritualistic quality.

The catastrophe of our very self is evidently portrayed, regardless of who we are or where we are. It is the reflection of the crisis & fate of that Hiram Abiff in every one of us.

The work he engaged in to beautify and adorn the temple is similar to the cunning workmanship we do as we try to manage and adorn our own daily lives – our own temple so to speak.

The ruffians he encountered symbolize none other than the lusts and passions we men fail to subdue.

And his final destiny to be buried in the rubbish of the temple is an allegorical picture of our great mental distress, a tragic loss of a son, disgrace, or the defeat of our hopes and dreams; this is a common experience in our daily lives.

The manner in which he was raised again is the same manner by which men, with God’s mighty help, will raise us out of the receptacles of defeat, disgrace or even death.

We were asked to take part in the drama this afternoon not only to satisfy the ritual of the SUBLIME DEGREE but to impress deeply upon the mind that it is our drama not our newly raised brother, there being exemplified or being inflicted with pain.

Our participation was intended to be an experience to let us realize that to become a master of our very self we must rise above our own internal enemies.

After all, as they say: “the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain, cry behind closed doors and fight battles nobody knows about.”

Finally, though the path to fulfilling happiness may seem elusive to some of us, with the trials and the inevitable sufferings in life, it is still a great day indeed to be a Mason.

Featured photo source: Wikipedia Commons.